Home > Simply Complicated(2)

Simply Complicated(2)
Author: S. Nelson

Wanting to skip over whatever else Brooke had in store in ways of warning me away from what I wanted to do, I brought the conversation back around.

“Back to my point, please,” I said, elongating the last word for emphasis. A subtle nod from my bestie was all I needed to continue. I leaned in closer to make sure whatever I divulged was kept as private as could be, considering we were in a crowded bar, the blended voices of the customers providing a shield to our conversation. Or at least, I hoped that was the case. “I’m curious if it’ll happen with a stranger, someone I have no feelings for whatsoever. Someone I’ll only be with one time, you know, to take the pressure off, which is what I believe might be the issue. Not that I’ve thought about it too much.” It’s all I’ve been thinking about recently.

After a long exhale I continued my rant, crouching so close to Brooke she had to inch back a little. “You gush over your sexcapades, bragging about how many times it happens for you. I’m jealous.”

“Sexcapades?” She tapped her finger against her bottom lip. “I like it. I’m gonna steal that one.”

“Be my guest.” Tipping my glass to take a drink, I almost missed my mouth completely when whoever took the seat next to me jostled my arm. A “sorry” drifted through the air next to me, but I never turned to see who the apology came from, too engrossed in my interaction with my friend. “I want to at least give it a try.”

“What are you going to do? Pick up some random guy and ask if he’ll help you out?”

“No, not exactly. I’d rather he be a friend of a friend. I need to know he’s not a psycho.”

“Yeah, you don’t want that.”

“Exactly.” A small sip of wine passed my lips, sliding down my throat and adding to the feel-good vibe I had going on. “My only other requirements are that he’s attractive and knows how to use what he’s got.” I moved to stretch my back. “Oh, and I want someone who’s a good kisser.” I wasn’t sure if it was how I said it or my expression, but Brooke laughed.

“Kiss you where?”

“Very funny. You know what I mean.” Unloading all of this on her was liberating, like a secret I’d been holding on to was finally set free. “I’d even be willing to pay him for his time and effort.”

“Pay him?” she asked, her voice raising a notch.

“Shh.” I smacked her arm, too embarrassed at the thought someone heard to look anywhere but directly at her. I lowered my voice when I spoke again just in case someone was eavesdropping. “Yes. I’d be willing to compensate him because he’d be doing me a favor.”

“Honey, you’d be doing any guy a favor if you simply looked at him, let alone propositioned him. Sex with a hot chick with no commitments? What guy would turn that down?”

“But I don’t want a quickie, where he’s the only one to get off. I want to have an orgasm too. That’s the whole point of this, for him to work at it, to work with me to make sure I have one. And since I’ve failed every other time I’ve tried to during sex, it might take a while, if it’ll happen at all.”

“Regardless of how much work it might take, any guy would jump at the chance. You know they love a challenge. Trust me. There won’t be a need to pay anyone.”

My shoulders came up to my ears before dropping. “Well, I’d be willing to if need be.”

Brooke tucked an errant strand of her chocolate-colored hair behind her ear, her eyes skating over my face several times. “You’re dead serious, aren’t you?”

“Yup. I want in.”


“To the club.”

“What club?”

I made it a point to keep my voice low. It was embarrassing enough I couldn’t come during sex, the last thing I needed was for some stranger to be privy to the information.

“The orgasm club.”

My friend repeated what I’d said, louder than I appreciated.

“You’re too much, Liv.”

“Says the woman who comes every time.”

“What’s the point otherwise?”

“Exactly.” I took another sip of my drink before placing the wineglass back on top of the bar. For as much as I loved to talk a good game, I had little faith in myself of actually going through with propositioning a stranger. And if that were the case, I’d have to resign myself to the fate of never having an orgasm during sex for the rest of my life. Hell, I could barely get myself off most times.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t feel pleasure, because I could, but I couldn’t push past a certain point. Then I’d get frustrated and just give up.

“I need to pee. Are you going to be all right by yourself for a few minutes? Don’t interview anyone without me,” she teased before I could answer her question, adjusting the bottom of her denim skirt before walking toward the back of the bar.

While I waited for Brooke to return, I thought about what I’d said. I was completely serious when I divulged my plan, but talking about it and doing something about it were two different things. Being adventurous was something I aspired to. But was that really me? I wanted to answer yes, but I was still figuring myself out. And there was nothing like a cheating ex to put a damper on someone’s self-esteem.

My phone alerted me to an incoming message from my mother. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read it, though. She was no doubt texting to ask if I was coming to dinner tomorrow night. She’d told me the other day she had a surprise for me, and I knew exactly what that meant. After my breakup, she’d managed to set me up on two blind dates, both of whom were sons of her nursing friends she worked with at the hospital.

She’d remind me I wasn’t getting any younger, as if twenty-six was old, and that I needed to meet someone and settle down, so I’d have enough time to have kids. I argued I’d meet someone when I was ready, but it was as if whatever I said went in one ear and out the other, her mom brain refusing to accept maybe it wasn’t in the cards for her youngest child to give her grandkids.

Her reasoning for not hounding my brother, Mark, like she did me was that it was different for men. He had more time than I did. Some bullshit about biological clocks.

It was during those times I’d look to my dad for help, but he was no better. He didn’t trick me into dates I didn’t want, but he’d say something like “humor your mother” or “she might be on to something.”

With my body angled toward the hallway where Brooke disappeared, and my attention on a second text alert chime, I was startled when someone brushed up behind me, warm breath cascading over the shell of my ear.

“I’d be happy to help you out with your dilemma.”

The hairs on the back of my neck bristled, and it had nothing to do with my embarrassment at having someone confirm they’d indeed heard what I’d told Brooke. But instead had everything to do with who the voice belonged to.

Someone I hadn’t laid eyes on in ten years.

Someone who had broken my heart once upon a time.

Someone I despised.









My first inclination was to ignore him, hoping he’d go away. But if I remembered anything about the guy behind me, it was that he loved to get under my skin, and not always in a good way. If he was still the same stubborn, arrogant, and infuriating person I knew a decade ago, there was no way he was going to let me off the hook. He’d view me as too much of a challenge now to walk away on his own.

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